Long-running art show at Fitton gets new name

“Conveyance,” a photo by Tommy Blackwood, is part of the “Hamilton Current 2017” show. CONTRIBUTED

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“Conveyance,” a photo by Tommy Blackwood, is part of the “Hamilton Current 2017” show. CONTRIBUTED

48th “Hamilton Current” attracts varied entries.

Eighty artworks will be on display from 62 area artists as part of the Fitton Center’s 48th Hamilton Current Art Exhibition, which will open on Saturday, April 29, and run through July 7. The exhibition is formerly known as “The Greater Hamilton Art Exhibition.”

“We have been hosting this area competition for 48 years. Before the Fitton Center even existed, it was initiated by the Hamilton Fairfield Arts Association. So, it’s a tradition and something that artists in the area look forward to as an opportunity to show their work,” said Cathy Mayhugh, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts’ director of exhibitions.

The exhibition attracts a mix of artists, who may have entered the competition many times in the past to beginning artists, she said.

“I am always amazed by the ways that artists bring innovation into making artwork, artists, who are pushing the way they are presenting their work, or the way they are using a certain process or media,” Mayhugh said.

“For example, it may be artists that are making drawings, but presenting the drawing in a format that’s unusual like a circular format with custom-made framing that becomes a sculpture in itself. So, it’s a drawing, but it is also sculptural. It’s a skillful, mixed-media presentation,” Mayhugh said.

The public is invited to attend a free opening reception on Saturday, April 29.

The night will also include a closing reception in the Community Gallery with works from Miami University Regional Art Students, an award ceremony for the Hamilton Current exhibition at 6:30 p.m., a short play (“Memory House” by Kathleen Tolan) presented by Miami University Hamilton Theatre at 7 p.m. The evening will conclude with a WintersEdge concert with Dallas Moore and the Jim Burns Band starting at 8 p.m.

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts first and second floor galleries will showcase the art of visual artists, who entered the “Hamilton Current” local art competition in late March. The juried show, judged by local art professionals Pamela L. Deaton and Kim Rae Taylor drew 242 entries.

As far as the new name of the exhibition, Mayhugh said, “We wanted to give it a title that people could remember, and we wanted it to express what the show is growing into.”

“We called it ‘Hamilton Current,’ because it takes place here in the hub of Hamilton. We are the center of a bull’s-eye of artists, who can enter the show within a 60-mile radius of us,” she said.

The exhibition is called ‘Hamilton Current’ for a couple of reasons, Mayhugh said, “because it is an exhibition of contemporary artwork. It’s all artwork that has been created within the last three years, so it’s current. Artists are also responding to current events. The word current also refers to water currents like the river, since the Fitton Center is right here on the river. Current also refers to electricity and that spark of energy that artists are bringing into this show. It’s all of those things.”

“This exhibition is one of the favorites of our visitors, because there is so many different things to see. There’s something for everyone,” Mayhugh said.

There are many kinds of art making expressed in the exhibition, from traditional painting and photographs to ceramics, weaving and glass work. There’s also a short video in the show this year.

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

How to go

What: 48th “Hamilton Current” art exhibition

When: Exhibition runs April 29-July 7. The opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 5-7 p.m. Saturday, April 29.

Where: Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton

Hours: Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m-5 p.m. Friday; and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays, except for special events.

Admission: Free

More info: www.fittoncenter.org or call (513) 863-8873

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